by Dee
(Bismarck, ND)

Some of my succulents are blooming. Should I cut the flower stalk off after they’re done-or are most of them going to die? Will it save the plant if I cut the stalks before they actually flower?

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Dee, depending on what species of succulent you have, some will die after blooming, it’s just how they work. Aeonium, Sempervivum, Jovibarba, Agave and several others are monocarpic, meaning once flowering. With luck, the mother plant will have formed some chicks to take her place once she’s finished blooming and dies.

Other succulents such as Echeveria and the generic hybrids Pachyveria and Graptoveria, Crassula, Sedum and Aloe don’t die after blooming. In fact, some of the oldest flowering plants in the world come from this group. If this is what you have, by all means trim off and discard the dying flower stalk unless you want to try seed propagation.

On plants that are doomed to die after flowering, in some cases you can do radical surgery on the plant and induce ‘chick’ formation, such as on a very special ‘one of’ Sempervivum that otherwise you will lose, but in doing this you will lose the plant as well. It’s a last ditch effort to keep the line going by prodding it into making chicks rather than blooms.

Hope this helps.